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June 2024

Misha Cross and Agatha Vega
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Resist: How to be an Effective Activist
Featured Article

Resist: How to be an Effective Activist

If you are frustrated, depressed or angry at the ass-backward triumph of Trump, it’s time to get out of your funk by doing something. Signing another lame online petition before anaesthetizing with Netflix, Hulu or YouTube isn’t going to cut it. In the words of famed 20th-century activist and songwriter Joe Hill, “Don’t waste any time mourning. Organize!” Sick of massive tax breaks for billionaires and corporations? Tired of efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act? Disgusted by ultra-right Supreme Court judges, plutocratic initiatives and inane tweets? Resist!

Here you will find a summary list of a dozen new organizations effectively opposing alt-right organizations, pressuring politicians and gearing up to take back Congress. First let’s address both the gravity and tactical imperatives of our political powder keg: Signs of a brewing civil war in America are impossible to ignore, and we cannot afford to make stupid blunders.

Trump’s victory has emboldened several white-nationalist and alt-right groups. They are highly media-savvy, but their activity is not restricted to the internet; they are out in the streets, organizing and recruiting on college campuses and in cities nationwide. Their young leaders are not tattooed skinheads like the neo-Nazis of yore, but respectable-looking preppies. And they have been joined by old-school, camoclad armed militia groups in some places. They demonstrate not just with posters and placards now, but wielding AR-15s.

In response, a parallel network of anti-Trump groups is rapidly expanding and coming into direct conflict with pro-Trump demonstrators. In Berkeley the scheduled speech of alt-right provocateur and former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos was shut down by violent “black bloc” riots —including physical assaults on pro-Milo supporters—organized by BAMN (By Any Means Necessary), a militant antifascist group. At a similar demonstration against a Yiannopoulos speech at the University of Washington in Seattle, one anti-Yiannopoulos protester was shot in the abdomen and nearly killed.

Anarchist groups like Refuse Fascism are springing up in almost every city. They argue that electoral politics has been proven ineffective and hopeless, and that the only alternative is to take to the streets in increasingly disruptive and violent direct actions. asserts, “In the face of all of this…where is the opposition? The answer is clear as day, but it isn’t in the halls of power, in the politicians, the leaders of the unions or in the big NGOs [nongovernmental organizations]. Instead it’s in the rioters. The blockaders. The people in ski masks and in the streets. The ones on the front lines fighting with the cops.” advises its masked, black-clad troops to learn physical self-defense measures, including the use of mace, batons and bricks, and it says this about guns: “If you do choose to own guns, engage in regular practice…. If right-wingers have been threatening people in your area with guns, or have already shot people, we recommend you arming yourselves immediately and getting concealed carry permits, where possible.” Now even anti-Trump marchers have been seen wielding assault rifles.

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